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Mandela Day Food Drive targets 2 million meals this year

Pick n Pay and FoodForward SA have launched their third annual Mandela Day Food Drive and invite all South Africans to contribute towards the ambitious goal of collecting 500 tonnes of food – enough to produce two million meals.

The FoodForward SA Mandela Day Food Drive in partnership with Pick n Pay is one of the largest national food drives in South Africa, providing much-needed basic food items to vulnerable communities. Last year 151 tonnes of food was collected and 130 tonnes was collected in its inaugural campaign in 2017 – together, this equates to more than 1.1 million meals donated to beneficiaries in need.

Almost 20% of households in South Africa have inadequate or severely inadequate access to food. The latest figures by Stats SA1 also showed that 6.8 million South Africans experienced hunger in 2017.

The food collected in the Mandela Day Food Drive supports the 530 beneficiary organisations in FoodForward SA’s national distribution network. These donations won’t only help with immediate needs but will also assist in stocking FoodForward SA’s warehouses with staple food reserves for months when supply is low.

To reach its target of two million meals this year, the Mandela Day Food Drive will run over a three-week period compared to one Collection Weekend in previous years. 

Pick n Pay will open over 550 of its stores across the country and mobilise its staff from 24 June to 14 July 2019 to provide a much-needed platform and support to collect tonnes of food that will help feed people in need this year and even beyond 2019.

Shoppers are encouraged to donate from a list of 15 discounted non-perishable items displayed in participating Pick n Pay stores or online, make a small cash donation at the till points; or volunteer their time.

Collection trolleys will be available in all participating stores for non-perishable food item donations during the drive.

These trolleys will be collected daily and the donated food will then be sorted on Mandela Day by volunteers at packing events across the country. FoodForward SA will then distribute the packed food to its beneficiary organisations nationally. Food donations made at more remote Pick n Pay stores will be distributed directly to surrounding beneficiaries on Mandela Day.

“By adding more stores and extending the collection period this year, we hope to increase the positive impact we have on the country’s hunger levels,” says Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director at Pick n Pay.

She adds, “The Mandela Day Food Drive would not have grown into the success it is today without the great generosity and true ubuntu spirit from our customers and suppliers. It demonstrates the positive impact we can create by working together,” says Ackerman-Berman.

Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director at FoodForward SA says, “The partnership between Pick n Pay and FoodForward SA ensures that those who are hungry receive nourishing meals through our network of beneficiary organisations across the country, especially over the cold winter months. The FoodForward SA Mandela Day Food Drive gives everyone an opportunity to join the fight against hunger by buying basic food ingredients at any PnP store or by joining our packing events on Mandela Day. It’s not only a good cause, it is also fun and builds unity across South Africa.” 

In the last seven years, Pick n Pay has donated a substantial amount of surplus food to FoodForward SA, accounting for almost half of the total tonnage donated to the organisation. This has made a significant difference to the many beneficiaries that FoodForward SA serves, but much more is needed to improve food security for all South Africans.

Everyone can participate in the FoodForward SA Mandela Day Food Drive – be it through the donation of time or food, says Ackerman-Berman. “Every effort – no matter how big or small – will play a role in helping to feed those who go hungry every day. Together we can feed the nation.”

Here’s how you can get involved in the 2019 FoodForward SA Mandela Day food drive in partnership with Pick n Pay

  • Take part in the national 2019 Mandela Day Food Drive from 24 June – 14 July 2019 in any participating Pick n Pay store:
    • Purchase a non-perishable item and drop it into the branded collection trolley;
    • Make a cash donation at the till point;
    • Volunteer 67 minutes ahead of Mandela Day to help with the Collection Weekend efforts in-store from 12 – 14 July. Contact your nearest store for more information. 
    • Donate your Smart Shopper points to FoodForward SA by selecting “Donate points to charity” on the app or at the kiosk in-store and selecting FoodForward SA as the beneficiary.
  • Packing event on Mandela Day, 18 July: Take part in one of the nationwide packing events to sort donated groceries into food parcels. There are four 67-minute shifts starting at 9am, at each of six venues across the country. Book your 67-minute slot on Webtickets
  • Packing events will take place in:
    • Cape Town: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Convention Square, 1 Lower Long Street, Cape Town
    • Johannesburg: Gallagher Convention Centre, 19 Richards Drive, Midrand.
    • Durban: Greyville Convention Centre, 150 Avondale Road, Greyville, Durban
    • Port Elizabeth: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 70 Prince Alfred Road, North End, Port Elizabeth
    • Bloemfontein: 12 Dunlop Street, Hamilton
    • Rustenburg: Karlienpark Primary, 1 Karlien Street, Karlienpark.


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